Cleveland Browns fire first-year coach after 4-12 season

McClatchy news servicesDecember 30, 2013 

Rob Chudzinski didn’t even get a full year to fix the dreadful Browns.

Cleveland’s front office fired Chudzinski on Sunday night after his first season, which had a promising start but ended with a seven-game losing streak and a 4-12 record.

Chudzinski had only been in place since Jan. 11, when the Ohio native and lifelong Browns fan was hired for his dream position by owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.

The Browns were 4-5 after a win over Baltimore on Nov. 3, but they collapsed in the final two months, blowing several late leads. The organization decided to cut ties before entering a second season with Chudzinski.

NFL LEADERS

Besides Peyton Manning’s single-season record for yards passing (5,477) and touchdown passes (55) with the Denver Broncos, there were other notable achievements at the end of the NFL regular season.

LeSean McCoy had the rushing title wrapped up before the Philadelphia Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. McCoy rushed for 131 yards against the Cowboys, totaling 1,607 yards for the regular season.

Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon finished with an NFL-high 1,646 yards receiving, a first for the franchise. Washington’s Pierre Garcon led the league with 113 receptions.

Indianapolis’ Robert Mathis finished with a half-sack more (191/2) than Robert Quinn of St. Louis. Mathis joined Dwight Freeney as Indy’s only sacks champions.

RYAN REMAINS WITH JETS

The postgame cheer from inside the New York Jets’ locker room could be heard in the stadium hallways.

The reason: The Jets were keeping their coach.

Shortly after the 20-7 victory over Miami to conclude an 8-8 season, Jets owner Woody Johnson told the team that Rex Ryan would return for a sixth season in 2014.

Ryan was given the news before the game. He’s 42-38 in the regular season with the Jets, and his future had been in doubt even though he’s popular with players, has a 4-2 postseason record and has a year remaining on his contract.

INJURY REPORT

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Redskins after spraining his left ankle late in the first half of New York’s 20-6 victory. The Giants also lost receivers Rueben Randle (knee) and Hakeem Nicks (ankle) and offensive tackle Will Beatty (broken leg) in the season finale. … The Redskins saw cornerback Josh Wilson (calf) and defensive end Jarvis Jenkins (head) leave the game. … The Bengals’ offensive line took a hit when center Kyle Cook suffered a foot injury, and tackles Anthony Collins and Andrew Whitworth each hurt their ankles. X-rays on Cook were negative. … The Colts lost starting cornerback Vontae Davis with a groin injury, defensive lineman Aubrayo Franklin with a knee injury and linebacker Bjoern Werner with an ankle injury during the first half. … Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline left the game against the Jets in the first quarter because of a left knee injury. He limped out of the game after a 25-yard reception that put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. … Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson left in the first half with a knee injury and didn’t return. … Bears right tackle Jordan Mills left the game against the Packers after injuring his foot in Chicago’s first offensive series.

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